Instagram Tips: How to Pose for Travel Photos When You’re Awkward

I don’t know about you, but I’m a person brimming with awkwardness. Yet, like many of you, I aspire to have a cute Instagram feed that features my travels. And, I like being in my travel photos. Why? Because I’m not a photographer, or even a travel photography enthusiast, I’d rather look up photos of the destinations I’ve been to on the Internet. I believe that having a travel photo with my face in it makes the photo personal — therefore, special to me.

Now, as an awkward person, this is a problem. At least, it used to be. I’m still an awkward person, no doubt about that — but I’ve lovingly accepted that about myself. Thanks to these easy Instagram tips, I’ve become more confident in front of the camera!

Also read: Travel in Style: 7 Easy & Instagram-Worthy Fashion Pieces for the Summer

The preparation

1. Practice

Don’t be shy. Look at yourself in the mirror and find your best angles. Acquaint your body with your desired  poses so that your muscles won’t find it too strange once you’re in front of the camera.

Note: I never remember my good angles. But, smiling in front of a mirror helps me love and accept myself more. Ultimately, this is what we’re looking for!

2. Dress for success

Wear an outfit that makes you feel good about yourself. Put on makeup if it makes you confident. If not, then forget it. This may be cheesy, but it’s true: When you feel good on the inside, you’ll definitely radiate on the outside.

3. Have a travel buddy that you trust

Having someone whom you trust to take your photo is essential. If you’re not comfortable with your travel buddy, you’ll have an even more challenging time letting loose on camera. If this isn’t an option, you can, of course, always sneak out and take photos by yourself. But, having a person who can direct you and tell you which angles work better for you will make your life easier.

Also read: No (Instagram) Boyfriend, No Problem: 12 Tips for Taking Great Photos When Travelling Solo

4. Bring something to hold

A common problem awkward people suffer from when taking photos is not knowing what to do with their hands. To avoid this, bring something to hold. A hat, a bag, or a coat are some items you can hold onto if they’re stylish enough to be included in the frame.

5. Save photo pegs

Look for some travel photos that catch your eye. Do you see anything common about them? How do the models pose? Let these photos inspire you. Save them on your phone so you can easily mimic some poses.

Note: Make sure to follow accounts that inspire you, instead of ones that make you feel bad about yourself. It will be harder to feel confident in front of the camera if your insecurities are constantly fed by unrealistic photos on the ‘gram.

The awkward-proof poses

1. Literally candid

Going candid may perhaps be the easiest thing you can do for the ‘gram. However, nice candid photos are rare — especially if you’re an awkward person. For more chances of winning, go for burst shots.

My personal favourite “candid” shots would involve me drinking coffee, reading a book, or admiring a view. I hand my camera over to my travel buddy, and just ask them to shoot whenever they want. Since these activities make me genuinely happy, most of the photos look acceptable to me.

2. Barbie feet

To do this pose, all you have to do is point your toes — as if you were wearing high heels. This pose instantly makes you look taller on photos, even when you’re sitting down! Discovering this technique saved my life. I used to struggle with full body photos because I never knew what to do with my legs. Just imagine a potato with stiff legs — that was me. But having a go-to one-leg-in-front-of-the-other, both-toes-pointed pose has made my Instagram life easier. It’s also made taking #OOTDs more fun!

3. Talikodgenic

When in doubt, go for the talikodgenic shot. Let your photographer highlight the destination you are in, and pretend like you’re just a part of the scene. Avoid looking too stiff and walk while your photographer is shooting you. Or, lean over something slightly (i.e. a balcony rail) and show off the view.

4. Over-the-shoulder

Here’s a pose that can spice up your feed: look over your shoulder. For some reason, this works like magic! When doing this, you can hide your awkward hands in front of you and still show your face.

Tip: I’m not sure if it’s an Asian thing, but my left eye is smaller than my right eye. This pose helps hide that, too.

5. Hide your eyes

Sometimes, looking into the camera may be the most awkward thing about posing. So, why not close your eyes instead? Don’t forget to tilt your head up and smile — as if you’re taking in the sun! You protect your eyes this way, too.

An alternative to this is wearing shades, or covering your eyes with your hands. The latter even lets you do something with your arms!

We can’t wait to see your amazing travel photos using these Instagram tips! Tag us on Instagram (@tripzillaph) and use the hashtags #TripZillaPH #MakeTravelHappen so we can feature you as well.

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